June 17, 2024

Quezon City Hall Goes Green with Solar-Power

Solar panels now power three buildings in the Quezon City Hall complex, a milestone in the city’s drive to shift to renewable energy and to achieve self-sufficiency in energy for all its infrastructures.

Mayor Joy Belmonte, formally stressed upon the commitment of the city in decreasing energy demand through energy-efficient building solutions in all the city-owned infrastructure and shifting to renewable energy source,’ she said in the press release.

Quezon City Self-Sufficiency with Solar-Powered Buildings

A high number of Solar Panel Installations take place at the Main Building. There were 180 panels installed on 15 floors. The same panels were also installed in the Legislative Building with a total of (108 panels). and in the treasury Building there was about (290 panels) installed there.

These installations could save Quezon City up to P1.5 million in electricity costs each year, money that could then be spent on maintaining the city’s public services, like daycare and healthcare centers. The Mayor’s Office estimates that the programme will cut the city’s carbon footprint by 125 tons annually.

Financial and Environmental Benefits

Excess energy can also be sold to the electrical power utility Meralco, City Engineer Dale Perral noted, meaning there may be a return on investment for the city. The project is part of a wider push for sustainability in Quezon City, which plans to mount more than 1,000 solar panels across city-owned public hospitals and schools.

Future Solar Projects These future sites desevioted to have solar panels are Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital, Novaliches District Hospital and Quezon City General Hospital.

Furthermore, Culiat Elementary School, Culiat High School, Judge Feliciano Belmonte Sr High School, New Era High School, and Tandang Sora Elementary School will soon go solar.

This solar transition is supported by the United Kingdom government’s Urban Climate Action Programme (2021-22).

Support and Collaboration

Quezon City’s government also worked closely with Meralco to create a solar ‘one-stop shop’ at city hall that would help residents to adopt solar and apply for net metering.

This shift to solar energy coincides with nationwide power supply issues. In April, the Department of Energy warned Filipinos to limit the use of energy-consuming devices amid supply concerns that also forced a series of class suspensions due to heat.

Quezon City has long had an impressive track record in regards to green policies, and in 2019 its mayor, Belmonte, signed an ordinance banning single-use plastics in hotels, restaurants and similar establishments.

In July 2023, Quezon City, in cooperation with Greenpeace, began the ‘Kuha sa Tingi’ (lit. take as needed) program, which encourages sari-sari store owners to supply customers with reusable alternatives to single-use polythene sachets.

The initiative will be reframed next year with the goal of expanding it to 1,000 stores and improving the city’s environmental sustainability practices. The city is also serious about transport: in 2023, Quezon City received the Cycling Gold award from the Mobility Awards for adding bike policies and infrastructure.

Green Policies and Initiatives in Quezon City

Quezon City has set the environmental agenda in the country, with Joy Belmonte, the incumbent mayor, signing a single-use plastics ban ordinance in September 2019 that affected hotels, restaurants and other similar establishments.

This pioneering law would cut plastic-waste and increase use of ‘greener’ alternatives, cutting the footprint of single-use items and continuing a growing trend of national and local bans on plastic waste and business and resident environmental responsibility.

Quezon City also has become a leader in the shift to renewable energy. A recent project saw solar panels installed across three buildings in the Quezon City Hall complex. Funded by the Urban Climate Action Programme from the United Kingdom government, the project aimed to make all city-owned infrastructure self-sufficient in terms of energy.

It is hoped that the installation of solar panels across hospitals and schools on the city-owned grounds will provide enough green energy for all future city offices. This makes Quezon City a leader in the planet’s fight against climate change.

The way Quezon City has tackled the challenges of increasing renewable energy, environmental sustainability and active transport is a model that can be followed by other cities as well. With these ongoing and proposed projects, Quezon City is setting itself on the road to green and sustainable recovery and, in the long term, to bringing economic benefits to its citizens as well as environmental ones.

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